I’m about to embark down a road that many have gone before by putting together a Frankenstrat.
I thought briefly about doing the standard relic version, but I’ve decided that is too much time and money, so the end result should be more based on the paint job being similar to EVH’s guitar than anything else 😉
There should be a few similarities to the original Frankie. Things such as a red/white/black stripe paint job, one volume control (with a tone knob, ’cause when you turn it up you get more tone man), Floyd Rose trem, bridge humbucker, cut-down pickguard. Differences will be that it won’t look like it’s been dragged behind a truck, only a 21 fret neck (for now…), and I’m probably going to have a working neck pickup with a selector switch of some kind to switch between pickups.
I was thinking of putting a single coil sized pickup in the neck position, for mostly stylistic reasons (i.e. that’s what was in Ed’s guitar), but the body I am using is routed as H/S/H (humbucker/single/humbucker) so it may look like it is swimming in there. I have a Seymour Duncan single coil of some description, but would prefer a stacked humbucker in there, but that will all come later. Most likely I’ll end up with a full humbucker in the neck position as well.
The guitar I’ll be using is a 1993 Japanese Fender Strat. It already has a black base coat on it, so that’s a third of the painting done already. As all previous attempts at painting guitars have been complete failures for me, I’m outsourcing that to a professional! Adrian at Ash Customworks is doing the painting for me. Check out this recent example of his work made for my friend Raf here.
The body is routed for a Floyd Rose trem, so I’ll be putting in a block or, more likely a Tremol-no, to make it dive-only and help with tuning stability.
For the bridge pickup I considered a few options, and the main contenders were: EVH Frankenstein Humbucker, Bareknuckle VHII, Seymour Duncan Custom Custom, the super secret Seymour Duncan Custom Shop EVH replica pickup or a custom made pickup. In the end I’ve settled for a custom made pickup by ASH Customworks built to the ’78 specs.
The guitar is getting dropped off tomorrow for painting, so updates will follow after that (although it might be a while, as Adrian is an incredibly busy man!).